Let’s take a break from our normal programming for a little love story.
On Saturday morning I woke up and met up with Asia for our 16 mile long run. My legs were heavy and I was tired from three days of hard workouts but I enjoyed every minute of the run. It was a gorgeous, sunny and warm day and I got to spend the morning running with my best girlfriend down the coast.
When I returned, I was pretty tired but also hungry so when Mike suggested we go to Swami’s, our favorite outdoor breakfast spot, I was more than eager to say yes. Once I took a shower, drank my recovery smoothie (that Mike made me!), put on a cute dress and got ready, I was feeling great. It was now in the high 70s and felt like a beach day. I had texted Mike on Friday after hearing that the weather was going to be spectacular on Saturday and said “Let’s do something fun!” Little did I know, he had something pretty fun planned already.
We live very close to the ocean so as soon as we left the house Mike suggested we check out the waves. We typically get to Swami’s, which is about 3/4 of a mile away, by walking down Coast Highway but since it was such a nice day (I presumed), Mike suggested we walk on the beach. This was my first hint that something might go down, because normally Mike is ravenous to get to breakfast and I wasn’t sure why he would want to walk the extra five or so minutes it takes to take the beach route. But, it was also an unusually beautiful day, so his request made sense.
The beach was unusually crowded for a winter day, but the crowd died way down as we made our way south down the beach. There isn’t another access point until Swami’s (the beach the restaurant was named after), about 3/4 of a mile away. Here we were, just steps from our home on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world on an absolutely gorgeous day.
Mike stopped, turned to me and took my hands in his. He started by saying, “I’ve been thinking about our relationship a lot lately.” At this moment, I got incredibly nervous. Either he was going to break up with me or propose, one of the two! I felt like one of hte final two on the bachelor – am I getting dumped or engaged?!
But then he told me that he loves me more than anything and that he wants to spend his life with me (in more words). He got down on one knee, pulled out a gorgeous ring and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes, hugged and kissed him and then jumped in his arms. I’ve never been happier!
Just seconds after we stopped embracing, an older surfer came up to us and told us he would take our picture. After he took the photo he said congratulations and walked away. About two minutes later we were walking and the surfer (we know call him Surfer John), came back. He said, “How old are you? How long have you been together?” We told him we have been together 3 years and we’re in our late 20s/early 30s. He then launched into a several minute monologue about his marriage and how he met his wife when she was just one day shy of 21 years old and he was 25. He then told us that marriage is a choice. Surfer John said “when she gets fat, you will chose to love her. It’s not about emotion.” (I assured him I would not be getting fat). The story and advice just got crazier from there as he told us about remodeling his back yard in an attempt to win his wife’s heart back and she barely acknowledged him. I just ended up tuning it out and laughing to myself that minutes after our engagement we were getting marriage advice from this crazy surfer dude.
Once we broke away from Surfer John we continued to walk and chat. At this point I got a chance to actually look at my ring and I was so thrilled and amazed at how beautiful it is! Mike got it specialty-made just for me and it is the most gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen.
Next, we made our way down the beach and ate at our favorite breakfast place. Our favorite thing about Swami’s is the outdoor patio and the coffee. And since we were celebrating our engagement, we threw out our detox and indulged in coffee, omelets and a pancake. At this point I told Mike for the first time that after our first date I told all my friends that I had met my future husband and we used to refer to him as Future Husband in that first month of dating. Turns out I was right!
With caffeine highs we went home and hung out for a bit before getting ready for the next surprise. Mike told me to wear comfortable clothes, closed toed shoes (but not workout shoes), and wear sunscreen. Eventually I guessed what we were doing and I was right – we were going on a hot air balloon ride over San Diego!!!
Ironically on Tuesday of this week there was one of the deadliest hot air balloon crashes. A balloon in Egypt went down and killed 19 tourists. I had come home this week and told Mike about it and he had just booked our trip! There was no backing out because it was fully paid for. When we arrived at the hot air balloon place, they explained what happened in Egypt and put my fears at ease. I was pretty confident we’d be safe but still a bit nervous!
Watching the balloons get filled was nearly as fun as being in one! They were absolutely gorgeous and such incredible examples of human ingenuity. Once they were all ready to go, we boarded the balloon with 6 other couples and our pilot (who also was the owner of the business) and set out high over San Diego. We sailed up to 2,000 feet over the earth. It was a great time to go because San Diego is so green right now. It was absolutely breathtaking.
The ride lasted 1 hour and when we landed (the most thrilling part because it was a bumpy landing!), our pilot told us the story of the pioneer hot air balloon rides in France. After testing the balloons out on animals, they deemed them safe enough for humans. However, when they landed the balloons, the locals near their landing spot thought they were demons coming from the sky and attacked them and destroyed their vessel. Eventually they figured out if they brought champagne with them, the locals would realize they were French royalty, not demons since French royalty was the only one with access to the decadent drink. So, for tradition’s sake, Mike and I enjoyed our first glass (or two) of celebratory champagne as an engaged couple.
After the ride, we grabbed an appetizer and another bottle of champagne and went back to the house to have a snack and a drink and call our parents and Mike’s sister to tell them the happy news. Soon after, we headed to Q’ero, our absolute favorite fine-dining restaurant in Encinitas (maybe anywhere!) for an amazing meal over our favorite bottle of wine. The fun didn’t stop there – next we headed to Third Corner down the street for our absolute favorite dessert – chocolate chip croissant bread pudding! It was the perfect ending to the most perfect day.
Best. Day. Ever.